Report cards out, city councillors score high

Four incumbent Scarborough councillors scored A’s but one got an F, when environmental report cards were handed out this month.

On Oct 4., the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) released the results of a 20-question survey that focused on six environmental issues: public transit, waste diversion, green energy, toxic reduction, buying local green products, and building transportation infrastructure. In the beginning of August, the surveys were emailed to all running candidates for city council.

Scarborough councillors Glenn De Baeremaeker, Raymond Cho, and Ron Moeser each scored an A+, while Ward 43 councillor Paul Ainslie scored an F for not participating in the survey.

“We contacted him on a number of occasions,” TEA executive director  Franz Hartmann said. “For reasons only he can answer, he did not respond to the survey.”

According to Hartmann, this survey is done during the time of the municipal election so voters have a better sense of the running candidates and their ideals for a green Toronto.

“For Torontonians who care about building environmental success in Toronto, this report card outlines exactly where the candidates stand on six priority environmental issues,” Hartmann said. “It’s a really important tool that we hope people will consider and use for the municipal election on Oct. 25.”

The survey is comprised of 20 yes-or-no questions, which can be easily manipulated for a high grade.

Hartmann said TEA is aware of this and assure that they will call the candidates’ bluff.

“We assume that when a candidate makes a promise, then should they win, that’s what they’ll be voting for at city hall,” Hartmann said.  “If a candidate says they’re committed to building Transit City, then after they win, we’ll take the report card and the survey responses to the candidates and say this is what you committed to doing before the election, and now we expect you to honour that commitment. That’s one of our jobs with this organization.”

Aside from the four incumbent city councillors, the majority of the running councillors in Scarborough also scored high grades.

“It shows that out of those wards in Scarborough, the incumbent candidates and the ones running are really committed to building environmental success in Toronto,” Hartmann said. “It reflects the microcosm of the big city.”